How stable was the Weimar Republic 1924-29 ?

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How stable was the Weimar Republic 1924-29

The real increase in prosperity experienced by many, and the cultural vitality of the period, gave support to the view that these years were indeed the ‘golden years’. However, historians have generally tended to question this stability because it was in fact limited in scope therefore these years could be seen as ‘deceptive stability’ also. Any disruption to the world’s trade or finance markets was bound to have a particularly damaging effect on the uncertain German economy. In reality, the middle years of the Weimar Republic were stable only in comparison with the other periods before and after. Weimar’s condition suggests that the fundamental problems inherited from war and the crisis has not been resolved. They persisted, do that the crisis set in during 1929-30 the Weimar republic did not probe strong enough to withstand the storm.

Politically, Germany was quite stable after 1923 as it had become more peaceful: there were no attempted coups from the right or left in 1924-29, no major political figures were assassinated; extremists did not gain mass support. The elections gave some encouraging signs to supporters of the republic as there was an actual rise in votes and it seemed like most of the German population was in agreement with having a republic as when the economic situation stabilized in 1924, the Germans were able to switch back to voting for the main democratic parties. Also the election of Hindenburg in 1925 was very good in the fact that he did nothing unconstitutional and abided by his oath to uphold the constitution – just by having a pro-republican head the government was reassuring for everyone as they did not have to run the risk of going left or right meaning complete submission and denial of the republic making Germany vulnerable and in danger again.  

However, though politics became more peaceful after 1923, political violence had not completely disappeared as extremist parties, though they did not have mass support, still made an impact on the streets with frequent fights between the Nazis with their SA and the KPD with its Parliamentary Red Fighting League. Due to these fights over 50 people were killed and many more injured, causing a sense of tension and blood. The electoral decline of the liberals was the decisive event of Weimar politics because it undermined the pro-republican centre from within, hence the centre party moved to the right in the late 1920s making the government become a centre of rivalry. The rise in anti-Weimar parties in 1933 March elections were 64.2% whereas pro-Weimar parties were 34.2%. The likelihood of an increased sense of stability was reduced by the fact that there were 6 Weimar governments in 1924-29, each were short-lived coalitions as most did not have a secure majority in the Reichstag meaning instability was caused in the country. In November 1928, the SPD government ministers voted with their party against their own government which was proposing the funding of a new battleship which showed that the parliamentary government was a charade. Also, Hindenburg being elected, though it was a good choice, became the focus of powerful groups who wanted a more authoritarian system which went against the Republic causing uncertainty and instability in the government.

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Economically, inflation was cured in 1924 and never was to return. Stresemann and Schacht introduced a temporary currency called the Rentenmark which was based on a mortgage of Germany’s entire industrial and agricultural resources. This brought up the confidence of the German people as hyper-inflation was one of the major problems in 1923, therefore getting rid of it was a huge success. Reparations were reorganized on a more reasonable level in the Dawes Plan and later the Young plan which made it easier for the economy to start to regain itself and also continue paying off reparations. By 1929 ...

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